Emotional Needs: Affection

I’m going to go for it.  I’m going to go over my Emotional Needs Questionnaire (ENQ) for your voyeuristic pleasure but also for my own mind masturbatory pleasure.  So bring the towel or mental sock of your choice.

 

Harley’s first item on the list is also MY first item.  He defines affection as: The expression of love in words, cards, gifts, hugs, kisses, and courtesies creating an environment that clearly and repeatedly expresses love.  It’s on this need that the whole of Chapman’s Love Languages reside.  But Harley merely lists the ways in his definition without delving too deeply.

 

The first task is to rate to need for affection on a scale of 0 (I don’t need affection) to 6 (I have a great need for affection).  In my case, I gave it a perfect ‘6’.  It’s just difficult for me to imagine being in a marriage without affection.  Actually, I don’t have to imagine that as much as imagine liking it.  This is so much at the crux of spending time together.  Why spend time around and with someone you don’t like?  Affection and everything about it is what clearly separates different levels of friendship and intimacy.  How we express it and how often we express it is important for maintaining those ties.  I’m not going to get deeply into the love language bit here, but you’ve all heard of them if you read regularly because someone always suggests looking into it.  Reading Chapman’s book ranks second only to therapy as a suggestion for improving my relationship and turning it around.  As you’ll see, affection is only one of the 10 dimensions of emotional needs but in my world it reigns supreme.  And at this point, I’ll accept any of the 5 flavors of it, although I much prefer the physical sort over words of admiration, acts of service, tangible gifts or quality time.

 

Harley then asks how often I would like my spouse to be affectionate towards me.  I don’t think once per day is not being too much out of line.  And I’ll accept any of the languages as long as there is some variety involved.  I’m then asked how I feel when I’m not shown affection as much as I’ve indicated above, with the choices:

a. Very unhappy

b. somewhat unhappy

c. neither happy nor unhappy

d. happy not to be shown affection

 

This gets a definite “a.”

 

Next is evaluating the spouse’s affection by rating how satisfied I am with how she shows it.  The rating scale is -3 (extremely dissatisfied) to 3 (extremely satisfied).  In this regard I chose -3.  I’m still thinking on this as I pay more attention there tiny scraps of affection that sometimes appear but not on a daily basis.  I’m just reluctant to score something so severely when it could still get worse.

 

Next, I have to choose from four choices to complete the statement:

 

My spouse gives me:

a. all the affection I need and I like the way he/she does it

b. not enough affection but when he/she does it, it is the way I like it.

c. all the affection I need but it is not the way I like it.

d. not enough affection and when he/she tries it is not the way I like it..

 

So yeah, you could say there is a love language problem, but it is only part of it and only a fraction of the overall emotional needs picture. 

 

The last part says to tell how the emotional need for affection could better be served in the marriage.  Obviously both frequency and type are issues for me.  So basically I lobbied for more overall affection and more physical affection specifically.  It’s just important for us as a couple to express affection for each other.  I watch how she is with the kids and you see her expressing affection to them all the time, several times a day everyday.  She has no problems demonstrating physical affection towards them!  Being jealous of my kids is hardly productive, but there’s a truth there I can’t ignore.  Of course the kids are better at eliciting affection.  After all, they’re still relatively small and cute.  Women like being affectionate to small and cute things.  Being affectionate to large things like a husband comes harder for them.  And then there’s the whole sexual bit that overhangs any physical affection.  For a LL gal, this is intimidating, if not repulsive.  They prefer the child-like expression to the adult-like expression of physical affection.  An erect cock is like leprosy or something to them.  It’s not a turn-on.

 

Anyway, this is area #1 for me.  It even takes a backseat to sex because I’ve had a fair amount of sex without affection with this woman, and it isn’t very good.  I can endure less sex with more affection and within the confines of chastity play it can even be fun.  But without affection, everything else is hollow and meaningless.  No amount of sex, recreational companionship, conversation or financial support can substitute for affection as this projects an atmosphere of love more than any other emotional dimension.  Affection alone is the primary currency of love and without it; there is simply very little reason to keep going.  It’s what forged the original bond in the first place that led to marriage.  Everything else is just gravy.

 

I’ve got about 10 days before going on vacation, so I’m going to be really ripping through this list at a very rapid pace.  Plus any other drama that may or may not happen with this thing.  Hang on to your butts.  It may get bumpy.

 

D.

 

  

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2 Responses to Emotional Needs: Affection

  1. Yar says:

    Wow…

    I just discovered your blog a few days ago. So much of it sounds like it could have been written by me, but this one really, really hit home.

    If I had to choose between affection with no sex or sex with no affection, I would choose the affection without question. I’m in my second marriage, and it’s like yours in many ways: no affection, no sex (and money problems too). In my first marriage there was very little sex either, but at least there was a lot of affection, and that made our life together bearable, even pleasant most of the time, although there was definitely something missing as well.

    As for feeling jealous of your children: imagine that the “child” is 16 years old and towers over you physically. He doesn’t look like a cute little boy anymore: he looks like a man (and to make matter worse, he’s a dead ringer for his biological father, my wife’s first husband). When my wife shows affection to him, but still can’t seem to find any for me, it can bring out some very ugly feelings. Sometimes I have to just leave the room – or the house.

  2. Digger Jones says:

    You know what scared me about this comment? That your second marriage seems to be worse than your first one! ACK! I mean if you’re going to go to the trouble of getting a divorce, I should hope things improve the second go ’round after a body learns a thing or two. It scares me because that would be my worst nightmare! I decide to go for it, get out there to grab a big slice of life and end up worse off!

    Just goes to show you never can know for sure.

    D.

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